Saturday, November 8, 2008

Anaar: Pomegranate

Anaar is considered a "heavenly fruit" in Iran and often symbolizes the autumn. Tehran is hosting an Anaar Festival, celebrating the season and focusing on the medical, mythical, poetic and artistic significance of Anaar in Persian culture.

For those in Iran: the festival is hosted at the "Nature Cultural center", second Tehran-Pars Sq., Phone: (Code: 011-98-21)77-35-4735.

When my husband heard about this post, he (whose memory leaves me in AWE) started reciting a beautiful poem about "Anaar" by Manuchehri Damghani, 11 century AD, who's known for painterly-poems about the nature. But my language abilities are not sophisticated enough to do justice to the poem. Instead, to share the festive spirit of the season, I have borrowed these pictures from internet.


Pedestrian said...

Thank you Naj for this post!

I LOVE the anaar: the shape, the scent, the taste ... Thinking of those beautiful anaar stands in Tehran now almost makes me cry! I guess it has somehow gotten into my psyche too that it truly is a "heavenly" fruit!!!

I don't know if you've heard of this, but because of the lack of rain last year, the pomegranate "industry" has taken a severe blow. Prices have quadrupled, ... There was a lot of talk about it in newspapers from what I saw.

I have tried different pomegranates (from other regions), and I really don't think the Iranian anaar can compare with anything.

I wish I was there for that festival!

Saffron, pomegranate, beautiful carpets, warm sangak, nice people ... GOSH ... I MISS IRAN!!!!!

Naj said...


My Annar memories of Iran are profound. Every year around this time, the coffee table always had a big bowl of pealed anaar on it. We just would go and grab a bulk and walk off.

Grandmothers would say, Anaar is a fruit of heaven, it's a sin to drop a seed on the floor. And this way, they made sure our walking-fruit-consumption didn
t lead to ruined carpets and messy floors :)

I don't know for what reason, but Annar came to our house never from stores, but from big boxes, given as presents fropm anaar producing friends. I don't know how much it costs; if it is an expensive fruit or not. It's been as prominent in our house as onions and potatos :)

I remmeber when I was little we would sit on the floor around father and he would break, god knows how many Anaars to find the ones we liked, the sweet ones with little seeds. Some people like them sour; I love them white and sweet.

First round of droughts killed the white anaar trees in my Grandmother's garden. I have never had anything as good as those any more. I feel blues for that dead garden ...

And I remeber there was a little anaar tree in our house ... it wasn't bearing fruits when I was in Iran, but had beautiful flowers. Last year when I went to Iran, I looked at our Garden from the roof of my Husband's house ... the tree has fruits now, but the house is rented ... too big for my parents to keep now that we are all gone ... tears well up ... I miss Iran too

Pedestrian said...

I guess your memory of "anar" is the way mine was with the "naranj". Dezful has a bountiful citrus industry, and their 'naranj' is by far their best product

Anyone who has tried the Dezful naranj is mezmerized by its scent, its sweet and sour taste, ... My grandfather has a huge citrus orchard and so I don't think we ever went out to purchase it. He would send boxes from Dezful.

Gosh, Naj! You can't imagine how sweet it was to sit around with my mom and dad and eat them ... we would barbeque them, put them in almost all our foods and saladas.

In heaven, if there is a heaven, there are three fruits I think: anar, naranj and zeytoon.

Every norooz, I would go to Dezful and feast on naranj in my grandfather's orchards.

I dream of them still, and of those beautiful blossoms ...